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Truss places courts reform ‘high on agenda’

29th Jul 2016

The new lord chancellor Liz Truss has stated that courts reform is one of her top priorities during the traditional swearing-in ceremony.

Truss, the MP for south-west Norfolk, was welcomed into the role  as the first female lord chancellor on the 21st July by senior judiciary at the Royal Courts of Justice, watched by her husband, Hugh, and her children, Frances and Liberty.

For her swearing-in speech, Truss focused on the strength of English law and diversity. She also emphasized the fact that she was a “great supporter” of reform and modernisation through the courts and tribunals system, noting that this “urgent task will be high on my agenda in the months ahead, as I know it is for senior members of the judiciary.”

Watched by her new ministerial team and the attorney general and solicitor general, Truss hailed England and Wales as the most open and trusted legal system in the world, with the “greatest judiciary in the world”. Truss added that she “would like to see that reputation more widely acknowledged at home.”

During her speech, the former environment secretary spoke of visiting Leeds Crown Court as a young woman and seeing a female barrister defending cases.

“I saw how justice was done, the importance of trial by jury, how everyone participates in the legal process – it was an inspiring experience,” she said. “I want as many people as possible to have that same experience, to understand the process of law, to want to join the legal profession and to become judges.”

Hinting at the debate about Truss’s qualifications for the role, lord chief justice Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd said it was “readily apparent that you have had to date a most distinguished career which has demonstrated your great skills and wide experience”.